View Full Version : Oaths for Characters (3.5)

2011-04-20, 03:26 PM
Hey all. I was wondering if I could get some input on an idea I had (including whether or not it has been done before?)

While tinkering with ways to change/improve the paladin, one of the ways I came up with is to rewrite the way the code of conduct works. What I was going to do was break it up into several parts, called oaths. The paladin would be able to take any of the oaths they wanted, from none to all. Each oath would have the obvious demands upon the paladin, while providing a mechanical benefit to the paladin. Breaking the oath would remove the bonus and give a penalty instead, for about a day.

Then I got to thinking: why just the paladin? Is there actually any reason for them to be the only ones who are strengthened by their limitations? Adventurers of all kinds in fantasy, from mundane to magical, have been beneficiaries of this effect. Thus, what I want to do is to create a set of oaths that can be taken by anyone.

The idea will be that they are distinct from any class features, feats, flaws, or traits. Much like the paladin, you can take any of them, or none at all. The benefit and penalty would be small, but it should balance out so that you have reason to take the oath and reason not to break it. I'm thinking that a character should be able to renounce the oath, perhaps as some 8 hour ritual during rest or some such. My biggest problem is, I seem to be having trouble with the actual mechanics behind the oaths, so I was hoping for some helpful feedback to get me started.

So far, these are the oaths I had in mind (note that they are mostly good/lawful, given the origin of the idea. If I get the traction needed, I could work on evil or chaotic ones too.)

Oath of Obedience: Insert basic idea of respect of lawful authority here. Am leaning towards the lawful and good authority variety.

Oath of Honor: Basically the Knight's code for anyone who takes it, as well as restrictions on things such as poison use.

Oath of Redemption: Anyone who takes this oath attempts to the end to be merciful to foes, and attempt to redeem them instead of destroy them until it is crystal clear that it is not an option.

Oath of Charity: The oath taker would promise to give of some of his wealth to those in need.

Oath of Courage: The idea of this oath is that the taker will try his utmost to be the first one into a battle, and the last one out (basically, an oath to be the tank.) Admittedly, this one may not come to fruition, but if anyone has an idea that works, that would be awesome.

So there is what I am thinking of so far. Thoughts, concerns, advice, random acts of violence? :smalltongue:

2011-04-20, 03:28 PM
The Morndinsamman project over in the Worldbuilding section is doing something similar, making a specific Paladin's Code for each of the different deities.

I just thought I'd mention it, in case you were interested.

2011-04-20, 03:36 PM
That does sound interesting. I will probably look into those as they come out. Actually, considering how awesome dwarves are, I might even like to drop in on occasion and help out, if that would be okay with you. :smallsmile:

Also, awesome forum name. :smallwink: